Ethological evidence has cast some doubts on the phylogenetic validity of the tacitly
accepted division of African cichlid genera into 'Haplochromis' and 'Tilapia'
groups. This paper reviews the structure and morphology of the pharyngeal apophysis,
the skull character on which the original two-group hypothesis was formulated. The
revision shows that many of the original 'Tilapia' group genera have a distinct
apophyseal form and structure (the Tropheus type) which at least in some
structural features, shows greater affinity with the 'Haplochromis' type than with
the 'Tilapia' one, and that a fourth type (the 'Tylochromis' one) must also
be recognized. The only formally proposed subfamilial classification of African, Asian
and American cichlids was based on the pharyngeal apophysis and must now be rejected.